Blue-schetta

Still so much Saint Agur left, what to do?

That’s easy, make blue-schetta!

Shops were open again today so after some wandering around in soho (standard), I stopped by Le Pain Quotidian and picked up a a fresh loaf of sliced multigrain seeded sourdough.

At home, I brushed a couple slices with olive oil and a bit of chopped garlic and put on a baking tray. I used the top burner in the oven and placed the bread on a high rack so that it would get nice and crisp. I left it in the oven for a few minutes while I diced and then pan-fried some onion, mushrooms, tomatoes, garlic, and herbs (rosemary, thyme, sage, black pepper and a bit of chili flakes for spice) for a few minutes until they were all just softened.

Then I took the bread out, scooped the mixture from the pan on top of it, and placed the bread back in the top rack of the oven. After a few more minutes, I could see the tomato skins were just beginning to brown and dehydrate (because the tray was so close to the top burner), and that’s when I knew to take it out; I wanted the bruschetta mixture to have a slight sun-dried taste.

I then put a few pieces of the pungent blue cheese on top of the bread, remembering not to overdo it because of the strength of the cheese. Inadvertently, this could be seen as a low-fat alternative to other bruschetta which might use tons of cheese.

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The biggest challenge with this quick dinner fix? Figuring out how to eat it. I always have this problem with bruschettas, tartines and open sandwiches. Do you cut it with a knife? Difficult when the bread crust is crispy or the toppings are high. Do you pick it up? Messy.

I think I alternated, but after a few bites I admittedly was only thinking of how good it was and forgot the frustrations of eating it.

What do you do?

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For Dessert

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Kinda looks like a chicken leg, but it’s dessert. I had bought some Saint Agur blue cheese and pears that I wanted to put together, so I put pear quarters on an oven tray, sprinkled with a bit of cinnamon, and let sit in the oven for a few minutes while went to load an episode of Modern Family. Before I left the kitchen though, I noticed I had a pack of walnuts on my shelf so I threw a pair of those on the fruit, for good measure.

When I came back I remembered that I still had a pack of shortbread-like biscuits (see below), which I had brought back with me from a recent trip to Spain, and thought that their cakey sweetness would go well with the fruit, nut and cheese combo. I laid one out under the pear, put a thin piece of cheese in the curve of the pear (the cheese is strong so you don’t need to load on a lot to taste the flavour), topped it with a roasted walnut, and voila! Deeelicious.

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I added a picture of the Spanish biscuit package if you’re curious about what it is. It’s called Torta de Povloron, or ‘powder cake’, and is a type of ‘montecado’ cookie which are sadly only made and sold over Christmas. Tastes like a very crumbly cookie, and made of very finely-ground almonds, flour, sugar and butter. Still if you’re ever in Seville, go to the above bakery (Los Angeles Bakery) – it has all the traditional Andalusian goods, and was packed with locals every day, especially around lunch time.